Sunday, May 28, 2017

Slowly Turning Into A Planner Fan(atic)

by Michelle Monkou
My 2017 Planner

I've always jumped on a planner bandwagon from the time that Franklin Planners were the big trend. The computer programmers soon developed calendars with similar bells and whistles along with the phone technology. Every wave tries to outdo the previous wave.

And for the last few years, the physical planners have been back in vogue. I understand that the planners have never left earth, but the percentage of use is up. If you perform a hashtag search on social media, the wide breath of planner enthusiasts is monumental with brick and mortar stores, digital stores, conventions, and planning circles feeding the frenzy.

My tendency always has been to jump in like a high-intensity cheerleader with good intentions. But a month or two later, that planner gets buried under clothes or other books never to be used again. All the to do lists, the appointments, the travel plans, the goals stay in my head to rattle around with the other gazillion thoughts.

What takes you from the amateur planner to the highly functioning planner-- Goals and Desperation.

My Weekly Planner
I've always had goals. I've always wanted to achieve something, gain something, earn or win something. So the lack of goals was never a problem. But this time, this year, I had goals AND a timeline. And that timeline had milestone marks that had to show movement in the right direction.

Next step is goals AND a timeline AND desperation. Desperation isn't a do or die mindset. I use the word as my own form of giving a kick in the pants to stay hungry, stay focused, stay consistent. Most times the reason that I'm no longer using a planner is that I've removed myself from the game or I've decided/convinced myself that the game isn't for me or unattainable.

But what I do know for sure is that those who are successful (and you can have your own model for success) have not become so through random acts. They may not be obsessive about planning and getting results in a timely manner, but they aren't inconsistent about work ethic and about fighting through the ups and downs. There is a plan, a method, a strategy that is built by them to attain a goal or two.

My Writing Journals
And I know what doesn't work. I know it has failure written all over it. Why? My way hasn't worked. For several years it hasn't worked. So why continue on the same track doing the same thing, but expecting different or better results. Isn't that the definition of stupid?

This year, I've got my planning tools. And I'm using them. Two months I slipped off and the old habits almost did me in. But when you're surrounded by planner enthusiasts, they will help get you back on track.

I'm moving forward and that's what matters at this point.




dstoutholcomb said...

a friend just gifted me a planner, so I'm riding the bandwagon for the first time


Michelle Monkou said...

Good luck, Denise. I got pulled in with the gift, too. LOL

Joanne Rock said...

I love planners!! I splurged on a Lilly Pulitzer one this year and use it often to keep track of book deadlines and writing goals. I use one color to write in my optimistic page count... what I HOPE to write. Ha! I use another color for the real deal, what I actually wrote. It helps me to look back and see how a book *actually* came together versus my lofty plan. And it's reassuring when I look back and ask myself... what's the fastest I've ever written the last hundred pages?? Because you know, sometimes it helps to know that when push comes to shove you have it in you do do that! Good luck, Michelle!